Hot on the heels of his agreement to star in Seth MacFarlane’s comedy sequel Ted 2, Morgan Freeman has put pen to paper to be involved in an upcoming film that is, let’s just say, a slight departure from a pot-smoking teddy bear with an attitude. That production in question, dear readers, is Timur Bekmambetov’s ambitious remake of William Wyler’s 1959 epic, Ben-Hur.
According to a report by Deadline, the Oscar-winning actor will join the project as Ildarin, a wise old man that trains our titular protagonist in the fine arts of chariot racing. Based on Lew Wallace’s revered 1880 novel, Bekmambetov’s modern retelling is said to explore the early life of one Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, two best friends who find their relationship put to the test once the Roman Empire takes over.
At this stage, there are no other casting announcements to be made; although, reports suggested that Tom Hiddleston was once being eyed for the lead role as the Jewish prince, though whether this materializes remains to be seen. Nevertheless, recruiting an actor as prestigious as Morgan Freeman highlights the confidence that the studio is placing in Bekmambetov’s vision; after all, readapting what many consider to be one of the greatest films of all time is no mean feat.
It’s understood the script is currently being overseen by Keith Clarke alongside John Ridley, who penned last year’s critically-adorned 12 Years A Slave.
Timur Bekmambetov’s modern retelling of Ben-Hur has already been granted with a release date, with the sword and sandals epic poised to grace the silver screen once more on February 26th, 2016. In the meantime, be sure to share your early thoughts on the upcoming sword and sandals epic in the comments section below.